The problem with Mother's Day is that there are so many feelings to feel. I mean really. So many feelings and not adequate time enough to feel them all in the span of the day.
I feel swallowed by these hurricane-like feelings, being blown over by emotions and I have no way to hold them all. Even more so, no one else to help me hold them. And so they leak out. A steady drip, until the dam breaks.
During a dinner with some friends recently, I said "Mother's Day was shit," and I didn't even know that was exactly how I felt about it. But it had to be true, because I was speaking quickly and loudly and sometimes our truest feelings come out when we are just word-vomiting all over the place. Also, when I'm word vomiting, I say things like shit too. But I was disappointed and I felt like I disappointed others and wallowed in all of these disappointing things of the day, and then felt defeated that I let disappointment get the better of me. Damn disappointment.
Just upon waking up on that very day, I knew it was going to be a bad. I could feel it. And the wisest part of my self, advised me to stay home from church. To take the morning to feel the sad things especially so that I could feel them and let them go. But I decided it was more selfish than self-caring and I went to church anyway. And nothing bad happened there. But, I was bombarded again by all of the feelings that are there to feel and realized I wanted to not be feeling them there. I tried my best to swallow tears and choke them down until my throat hurt. But they were leaking - just like feelings tend to do when you don't feel them.
And by lunchtime, the feelings I had somehow thought would go away by this point, weren't going anywhere and the floodgates opened. I ugly cried and had no clue what I was even crying for. The dam broke and I was a mess. And what's weird, is that I couldn't name anything specific.
I cried because it was Mother's Day and my mom isn't here. And I hate how it feels extra awful to be motherless every year in May.
I cried because this day is like this exclusive club. Like you can only celebrate or be celebrated if you have a mom or if you are a mom and I find myself aching for all of the women who don't have either of those things and it makes me not want to be part of whatever club this is to begin with.
I cried because I have friends who hurt deeply on this day. Because their moms have died too and I know what they're feeling. And some because they can't get pregnant and infertility steals their joy and their hope, especially on Mother's Day. And I want them all to know I see them and I love them and I'm hoping with them and I hate that they don't have anyone to call them mommy - because everyone who wants to be called mommy should have their baby and it breaks me because that's not how life happens.
And then I cried because I want to honor all of the mother people in my life and I feel like I do a horrible job of loving them and telling them and showing them and because I still can't stand in the Mother's Day card aisle and not want to weep. Because the feelings.
And then I cry because of the guilt. Because I am a mom. I have these precious boys and being their mom is maybe my deepest joy ever. Tommy and Jacob are living, breathing miracles and I love them so. Yet, I don't know how to be celebrated. I don't know how to embrace that this day could even ever be about me.
Mostly, I want to slap myself in the face and tell myself to get over all of the feelings. To be happy and embrace joy and let myself be celebrated and find a way to choose to feel something greater than the sorrow that I feel. But I don't know how to do that. And perhaps someday, I will have healed beyond all of this and I can feel my feelings better, as if there is such a thing.
All of it - the feelings, the celebrations, the memories, the longings,
the guilt, the everything - it all hits and it hits hard. And this year, it knocked me over.